Jacobi Medical Center, Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic, Bronx, NY
This summer, I had the pleasure to intern at Jacobi Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic. Jacobi is the largest public hospital in the Bronx and is visited by many underserved patients. The patients that the clinic sees are often affected by external factors that negatively impact their health and development. Consequently, in addition to standard doctor visits, the clinic has been seeking to help support families in other ways. As an intern, I took on a variety of roles at the clinic to help them on their long-term goal.
During patient visits, I conducted social determinants of health screenings on topics including food insecurity, stable housing, legal challenges, and early childcare and education. Should any patient screen positive, I would refer them to resources that I had collected. Speaking directly with representatives of various groups to discuss programs was a great way to learn what information was most pertinent and important to convey to patients. Then, along with Laura Sabino ’24, the other intern, we created an easy to use 22-page resource booklet for physicians to access. Additionally, we created six large poster displays of food, after school, early childcare and education, legal, continuing education and ESOL, and teen programs and resources. These large posters were placed in the waiting room with QR codes linking to relevant information for patients to access at their convenience and privacy. Additionally, around each large poster, we had mini blurbs for the specific organizations of a given category. All in all, this was a large project that made me learn about the struggles and issues behind accessing and finding resources that are helpful, the logistics behind these sorts of projects, and graphic design.
Other projects I helped support included the Reach Out and Read Program and the clinic’s desire to have a food pantry within the clinic itself. I helped support the Reach Out and Read Program by talking to families about how important it is to read to their kids and by providing age-appropriate books to the families. I also helped lay the groundwork for the creation of a food pantry by finding and organizing meetings with food distributors in NYC and thinking about the logistics behind the operation.
As someone interested in going into medicine, I was able to see how parts of the hospital work from behind the scenes. Shadowing physicians in the clinic and NICU let me see medicine in action. Some moments that struck me included seeing the meticulous care for extremely premature babies, the detailed discussions of the medical team, hearing the concerns and frustrations of parents, and the hope of families after help or information was provided. Conversations with the attendings, residents, nurses, and patients also provided me an array of perspectives. The things I saw and experienced during the internship have given me a lot to consider and reflect upon, ultimately giving me more confidence to continue pursuing a path in medicine. I am very grateful Dr. Worley ’90 for this opportunity.